Writing is a form of communication that has been used in our lives for thousands of years. The written word progressed from ink on paper to typewriting on your computer.
Today, we can divide writing into web writing and paper writing. Web writing includes the writing of numerous blogs, articles and other forms that did not exist before computers and internet came into our lives. However, there is a difference between web writing and essay writing.
Essays are analytic writings first used by Michele de Montaigne. They serve a rather direct and specific purpose because the author shares his own thoughts and arguments about selected topic in order to analyze and inform readers about that subject.
The conventions of essay writing and web writing are very different, so we present you 5 differences between writing for the web and writing for an essay:
1. Language VS Keywords
Essay writing involves varying your language in order to keep the reader stimulated. That means that you should use your specific, objective style without frequent repetition of various phrases and words.
Writing for the web has different rules because the quality of articles depends on various factors, but the most important one is Search Engine Optimization. SEO dictates that you have to fill your posts and content with specific keywords so that search engines can pick them up.
2. Paragraphs VS Sentences
Essay writers know that every sentence should be clear and understandable. However, there is no limitation on the number of words in a sentence. For them, the idea is to be reasonable and concise, but they can extend sentences as long as they want if they prefer to write in that kind of way.
Writing for the web limits your sentences and demands short paragraphs and simple sentences. The reason for that is because online readers have the shorter attention span, so in order to keep them involved, conciseness and precision is important. Of course, everything depends on the topic, but the key is to keep your sentences simple and understandable.
3. Footnotes VS Links
Every essay style of writing demands references. If you write and analyze something with the help of another essays or texts, you should always mention your source otherwise, that is plagiarism. You can quote whole passages or just simple thoughts that could improve argumentation but you must insert a footnote with all relevant details such as the name of the author, book, page and paragraph.
In web writing, footnotes are replaced with hyperlinks. The idea is the same, if you want to add something that is relevant but not exactly yours, you just have to link it afterward to a source.
4. Part of speech
Even though essays are personal analysis, it is forbidden to use the first person, because then it would not have a professional tone. Instead, all essay writers use second or third person because it sounds more professional.
In web writing, you can write from every perspective, but then again it also depends on what you are writing. It is widely acceptable to write in the first person because in that way, the message is personalized and the reader has a sense of what you are talking about. That is a better choice for marketing content and other promotional types, such as blogging and article writing.
Once an essay has been written and read by the intended audience, it may be a little difficult to go back and make some changes to the draft.
On the other hand, web writing offers more flexibility and a published article is easily edited. This difference is especially important where the writer needs to capture a constantly-changing variable such as the population growth rate.